Born in a small farming town north of Chicago, Illinois, he was constantly drawing as a child, which continued throughout his life. After graduating high school, he enlisted in military service, and while on active duty, toured Europe. He was strongly influenced artistically by his numerous visits to Paris, France.
Upon his return to the United States, Shearer launched a successful construction business. In 1971, with a strong passion for art overwhelming any other desire, Shearer gave up his business and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to study and pursue a career in art. He attended the New Orleans Art Institute for two years, but was by and large, self-taught. His influences were Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Derrain, Matisse, and artists
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